Why You Need a Structured Data Testing Tool
First, to understand how this tool works, let’s talk about structured data and why you should use it.
Structured data is an on-page markup format, helping web crawlers to better understand the content on your webpage.
Through structured data, web crawlers will not only pick up your company’s basic info, but more complex information as well.
Google uses this information to create informative search results, also referred to as rich snippets.
It allows people who are searching for your content to see the value of the website before they visit.
For instance, you are searching for a restaurant online; thanks to the structured data, you will see next to the name and location of the restaurant, also its opening hours, pricing and star rating.
When using structured data, your website becomes understandable to search engines and to the people searching for it.
If you haven’t implemented structured data in your SEO strategy yet, you might want to try it as it is an important factor to obtain a higher ranking in the search results.
How To Test Your Structured Data Codes
You can test your codes with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool here.
The structured data testing tool provides a variety of ways to develop, test, and modify your structured markup.
You can load markup into the tool either directly or by supplying a URL.
Structured Data Formats
There are three types of structured data, including:
Let’s break them down.
The markup, then, can simply be copy/pasted to the HTML document.
MicroData is the HTML5 specification of structured data. By adding tags to the HTML document of your web page, search engines will be able to better understand your content and display it in a more useful and relevant way.
Out of the three data formats, RFDa is the most advanced and complex one. It uses various properties and features to describe entities and assign information, and like microdata, it is HTML based.
How to Set Up a Structured Data Testing Tool
- Follow the structured data guidelines for your page and feature type. For example, if your page is about recipe, be sure to follow the technical guidelines for recipes.
- Validate your code using the Structured Data Testing Tool. Paste your code into the tool and click the validate button.
- Deploy a few pages using your structured data and use fetch as Google to test how google sees the page. Be sure that your page is accessible to Google and not blocked by robots, noindex, or login requirements. If the page looks okay, use that tool to request an index of the page.
- After google has indexed the page, look for errors and properly processed data using the rich cards report or the Structured Data report in Search Console.
Tip: For some result types, the Structured Data Testing Tool lets you generate a sample view of a result from your data. For those types, after you click “validate” on the tool, if the code is valid you will see a “Preview” button, which will generate a sample search result display based on your data.
Ideally you should see an increase of rich results or structured data types and no increase in error rates. If you see your structured data being crawled without errors, update your sitemap to have google crawl those pages regularly.
If you find problems in your structured data, fix it, re-test on fetch as google, and request another index until everything looks good in the reports. Then deploy the rest of your pages.
Monitor your error rates periodically using the structured data report, especially after releasing new templates or updating your code.